The town on the hill in the photo above is Motovun, and was to be our destination for the night after a bicycle ride which started in Livade, went up the mountain and over to Grožnjan and then down part of the Parenzana.
Grožnjan is an attractive Istrian town with a long history. It has some Roman buildings, including the one above, which was a Roman pub. A number of artists have settled there in recent years.
From Grožnjan we joined a section of the Parenzana. This is a cycle track along what was once a railway between Trieste and Poreč. After the Great Depression the railway was not profitable, and the Italian fascist government dismantled it. Nowadays it is a fairly popular hiking and cycling route. TJ and Tim, the guides from Huck Finn, were very helpful in pointing out the parts of the Parenzana where you needed to concentrate because of larger stones in the pathway.
Our room for three nights was in Villa Borgo, an hotel with gorgeous views over the valley.
One thing I noticed in Istria was that while the roads are well-maintained, and there are hardly any road diggings, the same can’t be said about many buildings. In the backstreets of the lovely hill towns you can find many crumbling houses.